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Old 04-05-2012, 11:27 AM
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327 275hp rebuild

I've been tinkering around with car projects for many years, but am planning my first complete engine rebuild and am looking for some advice to see if I'm on the right track. This engine will be going into my 67 Camaro.

I just picked up a complete 327 275hp engine that came out of a 67 Caprice. It is mostly stock, but the previous owner upgraded the pistons with something like a 11.2 compression. It has the 462 camel hump heads. I'm thinking to make it more streetable and run regular pump gas, I need to change out the pistons to something with a smaller compression ratio.

When it is done, I would like to have a good balance between impressive street performance and good gas mileage. (Yes I know those are competing factors)

Here's my plan so far: Let me know what you think.

Strip down the motor, take it to the machine shop and have the block and crank checked and possibly rebored or ground as needed. I'm guessing the bore will end up being about .030 oversize. Also have the shop rebuild the heads using stock parts.

Speed Pro H660CP30 Hypereutectic Pistons w/ Moly Rings Kit.
Flat top with valve reliefs
This should give me about a 9.15 compression ratio using my 64cc heads.
What do you think about Moly or Cast Iron Rings?
$200 on Ebay from KMJ Performance.

Using the Cam selector software from Comp Cam, I found a mild cam which they suggest makes good power, while providing good mileage.
It is the Comp Cam 12-205-2 Grind 252H High Energy model. I'm not sure what all the specs mean, but they are easily found by searching this model.
With my existing parts, their software says I should get about:
276 HP @ 4500rpm
376 ftlb @ 3000rpm
This is similar to the factory specs for hp and about 20 ftlb more of torque.

I've got a factory intake manifold model 3872783, which I think came from a mid 60's 300hp 327.

Carb is an Edelbrock 1406 600cfm, which is supposed to provide good performance as well as good mileage.

Exhaust will likely stay factory cast iron manifolds, but I'm open to other GM manifolds available or maybe even consider some small tube headers in the future.

I'm thinking of adding an HEI distributor, but would like any suggestions you have.

When I am done, it will all be painted up to look factory stock for my 67 Camaro, using mostly factory parts.

Feel free to offer me any advice that will help within my basic vision, but mostly to look over my shoulder and let me know if I'm on the right track or need to do some tweaking.

Thanks

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Last edited by rollie715; 04-05-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:05 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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any reason you want to do an old 327 instead of a newer, cheaper, more reliable, more powerful, and more efficient 350?
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap72
any reason you want to do an old 327 instead of a newer, cheaper, more reliable, more powerful, and more efficient 350?
With all those positive adjectives describing the 350, I'm wondering that myself.

I guess mostly for fun. The 67 Camaro is a nostalgic family project and the idea of putting in an era correct engine seems like the right thing to do. Also I already have most of the components and am thinking the experience of putting together a piece of history would be rewarding. Your comments are indeed thought provoking. Part of me wants to continue on the path I started, and see just what kind of performance and economy I can get out of it. That said, I'm still hoping for some detailed tweaking ideas on what I've already listed.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:56 PM
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We "solved" that delemma for a local with HIS '67 Camaro. He wanted just what was described. A little more power than the 327, better fuel mileage and still LOOK "correct". Well, he dynoed 276 RWHP (about 320 FWHP) and gets 17 MPG (or so he SAYS. I have no reason to doubt him).

We used mostly the same "stuff" you list on the outside, including the intake. What we did "different" was make a 355... Some '67s had large journals, some small. Which is yours? If "large", a 350 or 383 crank is a "drop in" deal, using 350 or 383 pistons. We've also ground the mains down to small journal and used a 350 crank (not advisable with the longer stroke 383 crank). As long as you keep revs under 6,000 or so, the smaller mains won't be a liability. No nitrous, either, but it doesn't sound like that's what you're after.

A dished piston to get compression under 9.5:1 and a Comp XE265H makes for good low-end power and snappy response. All "done" by about 5,600. He LOVES his engine. It does EXACTLY what he wanted it to.

FWIW

Jim
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollie715
With all those positive adjectives describing the 350, I'm wondering that myself.

I guess mostly for fun. The 67 Camaro is a nostalgic family project and the idea of putting in an era correct engine seems like the right thing to do. Also I already have most of the components and am thinking the experience of putting together a piece of history would be rewarding. Your comments are indeed thought provoking. Part of me wants to continue on the path I started, and see just what kind of performance and economy I can get out of it. That said, I'm still hoping for some detailed tweaking ideas on what I've already listed.
I don't see using 40 year old technology as being more fun when to most people the current technology looks almost identical... You're not comparing an old flathead Ford vs a coyote engine you're comparing one sbc against another sbc.

A used LT1 engine will cost less than just having your heads rebuilt and in stock form will give you more power, MUCH better mileage, and better durability. Yes it'll be fuel injected, but stepping up 30 years in technology isn't a bad thing...


The ONLY reason I would worry about numbers is if you have some REALLY REALLY rare car and want to keep it original.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:36 PM
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Nothing wrong with putting an LT1 in any car, that's what hotrodders do.

But, with respect I think your choice to be "era correct" is a good choice in the case of '67 Camaro. As long as it looks correct, it will have more value than if you put the newer LT1 in it.

Upgrading the 327 to a 350 can be a good idea, especially if your block has the large journal crank. That change is affordable and from the outside only you will know it has been changed.

While the 462 heads are dated, they are remembered fondly by those of us who were around before the vortec engines. Keeping them for your camaro will work just fine, and they will look correct.

As for pistons, I would work towards 10 to 1, use a little longer duration cam (like the XE265 P-Body recommended) and you can still run pump gas with just a bit of lope in your idle. That cam should work fine in the lighter car, more so with a manual trans and a bit taller (numerically higher) gear.

Post the casting codes, date codes, and stamping code (if it's still there) for your block and crank. I'll look them up in my books when I get home tonight (just for fun).

Post some pics of your Camaro.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starnest
But, with respect I think your choice to be "era correct" is a good choice in the case of '67 Camaro. As long as it looks correct, it will have more value than if you put the newer LT1 in it.
Sentimental value maybe but not fiscal value. It's a plain jane 67 chevy camaro, nothing wrong with that but "numbers matching" is worth very little on something that common.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap72
Sentimental value maybe but not fiscal value. It's a plain jane 67 chevy camaro, nothing wrong with that but "numbers matching" is worth very little on something that common.
First, '67 Camaro's are not that common; yes there are plenty of them around, but certainly not enough for everyone that would want one.

Second, collector car value is built on a foundation of Sentimental value. If we didn't love these cars we wouldn't spend a dime on them. Thus number's matching, era correct wouldn't mean anything, only the scrap value of the metal would determine value. Because as transportation the old cars are too outdated, inefficient, unsafe, etc.

It is way too easy to surmise that these factors don't count if they are not personally important to you, but the smart money will recognize that they do count in the collector car world.

Now with recent trends in "resto-mods", there is good value in properly prepared collectable cars with updates; but this value is only recognized in a few cases and almost always relys on high quality work. The truth is in most of these cases, there is very little money made because the cost of components and labor for high quality are so expensive.

Back to the case at hand, even a good experienced builder would be hard pressed to make the 67 Camaro with the LT1 sell for significantly more than a correct looking 327/350 version of the car (all other factors - brakes, trans, suspension, etc being the same). IMHO
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starnest
in the collector car world.
A plain 67 camaro isnt even a blip on the radar in the collector car world. As far as updating, I have seen MANY cars sell for more when they have JUST an upgrade to EFI, an LT1 goes way beyond that.

The OP can do what he wishes and if he has personal sentiment towards the 327 then that's a good option for him, but it is NOT the better financial decision. Again, there's NOTHING wrong with picking personal sentiment over a dollar value, if anything I support not just chasing the dollar, BUT there is NO advantage the 327 would offer other than a possible personal sentiment.

Personal sentiment is a LARGE part of why things are built the way they are in the custom auto world though and it is a very valid reason.

Bottom line the car should be built to satisfy the OP, but the OP should know going into it that there are other options that are more appealing to other people and those options should at least be considered.

On that point a LS swap would be about the same cost as would building a 400ci sbc or a big block swap- all of them are valid reasons and if you buy a running but used engine they are cheaper than building one yourself, and can be more powerful, more efficent, lighter, more reliable, etc.

Hell swap in a Jaguar V12 if you feel like it.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:02 PM
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ap72 and starnest,

I appreciate the feedback I have received from both of you. While it is somewhat competive between the two viewpoints, it allows me to ponder just where I want to go between the two. I have often questioned what I would do, if I find the 327 block needs both a bore and the crank ground, as well as the heads rebuilt. I realize I could go out and purchase a good running 350, bolt on my intake, exhaust, and a new cam and have a more efficient and powerful engine for less money. As for the sentimental reasons, part of my perspective, is I'm building a car very similar to a 67 I had 32 years ago. I'm now 55 years old, and part of my "mid life crisis" is to recapture some of the good old days I had when I was younger. You are right, it is not completely rational or financial, but to balance it all out, it would also be good if it was. With a set of headers, my design should put out about 300hp and 400ftlbs, and I'm still hoping for gas mileage in the mid teens.

Here's a photo of the current car I am building:
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:10 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollie715
ap72 and starnest,

I appreciate the feedback I have received from both of you. While it is somewhat competive between the two viewpoints, it allows me to ponder just where I want to go between the two. I have often questioned what I would do, if I find the 327 block needs both a bore and the crank ground, as well as the heads rebuilt. I realize I could go out and purchase a good running 350, bolt on my intake, exhaust, and a new cam and have a more efficient and powerful engine for less money. As for the sentimental reasons, part of my perspective, is I'm building a car very similar to a 67 I had 32 years ago. I'm now 55 years old, and part of my "mid life crisis" is to recapture some of the good old days I had when I was younger. You are right, it is not completely rational or financial, but to balance it all out, it would also be good if it was. With a set of headers, my design should put out about 300hp and 400ftlbs, and I'm still hoping for gas mileage in the mid teens.

Here's a photo of the current car I am building:

You can easily hit your power goals with a 327, and it seems you have a lot of sentiment over that engine.

I suggest you consider other heads though. Even the aluminum Chinese heads if you can't afford better. By the time you put new guides, springs, valves, valve job, etc in those heads you'll have $500 or more in them. If you still want to go with the old iron (again for sentiment) be sure to get a good valve job and open those ports up, they are TINY in stock form and taking out 20cc's in the right places would get you a lot more power and torque. Also, if the seats are good enough stay with 1.94/1.5 valves, until you get over 450hp or so the smaller valves are actually better.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap72
I have seen MANY cars sell for more when they have JUST an upgrade to EFI
To some extent that is true, but in most cases they sell for more becaue of the quality of workmanship. The same is true for restored cars. Professionally restored is worth more than a shadetree restoration on the same car. The point to consider is cost versus return on investment. You can spend a lot more putting 90's tech into a '60s car than you can recover in resale, even if it sells for more it cost more. In Rollie's case that is even more true, because he already has the 327 in hand. While he could sell it, by your estimation it has little value, he ends up losing money to switch to the LT1.

Rollie, I apologize for hijacking your thread, I did put a few ideas for your project in an earlier post. Good luck with your Camaro. BTW I saw the pic in your journal, it looks great.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starnest
he already has the 327 in hand.
No, he has remnants of a 327 in hand, which to rebuild properly is going to cost him at least $1500. A used LT1 is like $400, even if you decide to run MS instead of the stock ecu ($400) and have to buy a different fuel pump ($100) and throw in a few other little goodies like a nice air filter or some chrome (say $400) he's still ahead financially if he just lets that 327 block rot in the back yard.

Not to mention he'll get about 5 or more mpg better and it is a LOT easier to drive.

I've done a lot of junk yard engine installations for people and the primary reason why is that it just makes more sense than rebuilding when you can get an engine with less than 100k miles on it for $400 or less.


With all that said it seems a 327 would satisfy his reach for days gone by much better and as such I say do what makes ya happy!
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:57 PM
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An LT1 that needs nothing mechanically for $400? Maybe. Maybe you get it home and take it down for fresh gaskets, etc. and find the short block needs the works, and one of the heads is cracked.

The idea of stuffing the 27 block w/a longer arm and pistons to match the CR and the stroke is a sound approach IMHO.

In that car, reusing the fuelies would look right, Vortecs will run better, your choice.

Using styling cues from that era on the engine (finned aluminum v-covers, a front-mounted oil fill tube, things like that) will offset any loss of "the look" from using different heads to some extent- but fuelies will be the best for popping the hood at the Steak & Shake.

If the intake has the U-shaped heat riser channel, be sure you use the right type of stainless steel clad gasket between the intake and carb.

Nice looking car, BTW. Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:29 PM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
An LT1 that needs nothing mechanically for $400? Maybe. Maybe you get it home and take it down for fresh gaskets, etc. and find the short block needs the works, and one of the heads is cracked.

The idea of stuffing the 27 block w/a longer arm and pistons to match the CR and the stroke is a sound approach IMHO.

In that car, reusing the fuelies would look right, Vortecs will run better, your choice.

Using styling cues from that era on the engine (finned aluminum v-covers, a front-mounted oil fill tube, things like that) will offset any loss of "the look" from using different heads to some extent- but fuelies will be the best for popping the hood at the Steak & Shake.

If the intake has the U-shaped heat riser channel, be sure you use the right type of stainless steel clad gasket between the intake and carb.

Nice looking car, BTW. Good luck.
$400 is more than the local salvage yards charge, including warrenty. As far as looks, a little orange paint goes a long way for 99% of the people out there. And finned valve covers and such will really be what draws the eye, not the casting symbol on the front of the heads.
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